(I've seen this question and some related ones, and perhaps this is a duplicate although part of my question is specific to the Atom D510.)

I'm going to be installing Ubuntu on a new silent desktop as my latest (and hopefully last) attempt to switch from Windows to Linux for at least most everyday tasks. The new machine is entirely passvely cooled, but as a consequence, not astonishingly powerful — an Atom D510 (dual-core, 1.6GHz, HT) on Intel's D510MO board. That's fine, I won't use it for gaming, (much) video editing, etc.

It's a 64-bit processor and I'm maxing the board out at 4GB of RAM (hey, that 1.6 CPU needs all the help it can get), which naturally raises the question of whether to install Ubuntu 64-bit or 32-bit (and if the latter, either live with the missing RAM, or do the PAE kernel dance).

Although I've used Linux on servers for years, I'm very nearly a Linux desktop newbie and am not currently in the mood to fight driver wars and such. So if I'm setting myself up for failure with 64-bit, I'll live with the missing ~0.8GB or fiddle with PAE. But if 64-bit is entirely "ready," great, I'm there.


  1. Do most mainstream apps (now) play nicely with 64-bit Linux?
  2. I can't help but notice the "AMD" in the ISO image filename ubuntu-10.04-desktop-amd64.iso and I know AMD lead the way on this stuff — does Ubuntu 64-bit play nicely with Intel processors?
  3. Just generally, would you recommend one or the other?

(And if anyone has any experience with Ubuntu specifically on the D510 [32-bit or 64-bit] which might lead me one way or t'other, that would be useful.)

  • Installed and happily running! Install itself was trivial, not a single issue. Got Chromium installed from repos (may or may not go back and install Chrome, the branded version, instead), got Java installed (brief detour there when Sun said I needed to use the 32-bit version for browser support -- ignore them, they lie). Currently using the 64-bit alpha Flash plugin but keeping an eye out given Shiki's experience with it. Performance is great (given what the box is), loving it! – T.J. Crowder Jun 3 '10 at 23:57

64 bit.
1. Yes. Only the following apps are 32bits (all runs with 32bit cross libs) (64bit were always "ready" on Linux. Only few proprietary things are not really supported natively. But loading 32bit libs when it needs, takes only 1-2 secs every occasion (I mean every time you boot your machine and have to load a Skype, it'll have to fetch the 32bit libs. Windows does this at boot or load I guess.):
- Skype
- Flash main 32bit plugin
- Acrobat Reader
2. Yes it plays. 64bit (which we just call 64 bit) was called AMD64 and later other manufacturers (Intel) adopted it. Intel got an own 64 arch, called IA-64, however that is a different story (those are high-end servers).
3. 64bit.

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  • Thanks! (And I saw in that other question that I can get a 64-bit Flash plug-in, I just have to make the effort.) – T.J. Crowder May 24 '10 at 17:38
  • Yeah you just have to download it and put it into your plugins folder. HOWEVER: 64bit plugin is really buggy, slow, unstable. So yeah. I warned you. (Seriously, 32bit plugin provides much better speed, stability.) – Apache May 24 '10 at 17:57
  • Thanks again. That's interesting, bobince seems to have had the opposite experience: superuser.com/questions/98098/… – T.J. Crowder May 24 '10 at 18:01
  • Strange. I've been using both since the very first alpha and I'm quite an old Linux user. Well.. I would NOT recommend it, and trust my word. (Try 32bit first and then 64bit. You'll notice a difference. Try full-screen playback. 64bit = full PC froze, couldnt even reboot. Didn't have SSH server started.) – Apache May 24 '10 at 19:22

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